The Hard Rock

I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.

The same way I’ll have earthquakes on the brain for a few months leading up to a seismic event (which has been the case for a while now — you’ve been warned), I’ll have a feeling about my car.

Within the first year of owning it, I took a rock to the windshield during my morning commute. It was bad enough to where I had the whole thing replaced at the dealership.

The next year, an uninsured motorist who spoke no English rear-ended me. Thanks. At least the new bumper cost me nothing.

The year after that, I got two speeding tickets in two weeks’ time. Alright, so that was my fault. And for what it’s worth, I fought both and won one. Not bad odds, although the money I got back has since been eaten up by my insurance increase.

A few months later, a large rock hit the windshield again, but only left two uber-tiny chips. Irritating, but minor. I didn’t bother getting it fixed.

Last year, it was hit while sitting in one of my beloved end spots in a parking deck. For anyone who remembers the story of the pirate, it happened the night of our first date. Looking back, it really was some awesome foreshadowing, and there was some good comedy in that it completely negated the fact that he paid for the evening since I was stuck with the $500 deductible afterwards. Bumper number two would soon be mine.

Yesterday I went to the carwash, and I randomly remembered being approached a number of months back by a guy who was there handing out business cards for his windshield repair business. He mentioned he saw the chips in my glass and said that if I wasn’t careful, they’d spread and get larger “probably within a week or so.”

“Well, they’ve been there for about two years, so I think I’m fine,” I said.

“Oh,” was his reply. He scurried away.

While I was sitting there waiting for my car to be finished and with nothing in particular on my mind, I suddenly realized it had been a while since something “happened” to my car.

Great. Now that I’ve thought it, something is bound to happen.

Driving on the 5 freeway earlier today, I found out what it was: another rock to my windshield. This time, it was the tiniest thing imaginable, but it left one heck of a star crack for me to ponder. Where did it come from?! The closest car was about 15 vehicle lengths ahead of me and two lanes to the right, while the next closest car was coming up behind me on my left. Unreal. The least busy day I’ve ever seen SoCal freeways and I get a cracked windshield. In a star shape, no less. I love stars immensely, but that was definitely one I could do without.

Since I strangely expected something to go wrong, I mumbled a simple but disgusted, “Are you kidding me?” and continued on my way. Aside from the disgust, I felt pretty zen about the whole thing, since it could’ve been worse, obviously.

When I stopped a few minutes later to pick up some groceries, I saw one car parked with its driver’s side mirror held on by what must’ve totaled 40 feet of duct tape; it was the thickest wad of silver I’d ever seen in my life. As I cruised down the next aisle, a van had a rear window completely missing, and there was a plastic bag taped to the frame instead.

Right. Suddenly the small star crack was even less of an issue. And the duct tape displays were two nice reminders about how easy I really had things. Today’s thanky is pretty easy: I am thankful for the damage that could’ve been worse, for the expense which could’ve been far greater and for the means to quickly repair a minor cosmetic flaw. I’d rather not have taken anything to my windshield today, but if there was something that had to happen, I’m glad that was it.

Let’s hope.

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